Mocking Meta: Facebook’s virtual reality name change prompts backlash

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The announcement by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that the societal media elephantine volition change the sanction of its holding institution to Meta successful a virtual-reality rebrand has prompted dismay and bemusement.

On Thursday, Zuckerberg said Meta would encompass Facebook arsenic good arsenic apps specified arsenic Instagram, WhatsApp and the virtual world marque Oculus.

“Announcing Meta — the Facebook company’s caller name,” the tech elephantine said successful a tweet. “Meta is helping to physique the metaverse, a spot wherever we’ll play and link successful 3D. Welcome to the adjacent section of societal connection.”

The metaverse is the adjacent improvement of societal connection. It's a corporate task that volition beryllium created by radical each implicit the world, and unfastened to everyone. You’ll beryllium capable to socialize, learn, collaborate and play successful ways that spell beyond what’s imaginable today.

— Meta (@Meta) October 28, 2021

The rebrand comes arsenic the institution faces a bid of nationalist relations crises.

A trove of precocious leaked documents present known arsenic the Facebook Papers exposed the interior workings of the company, with allegations from whistleblower Francis Haugen that Facebook has enactment profits up of ridding its level of hatred code and misinformation.

Satirical precocious nighttime quality programme the Daily Show tweaked Zuckerberg’s Meta presumption video by superimposing the tech billionaire onto footage of the January 6 Capitol riots and the 2017 Charlottesville achromatic nationalist march. Both events were organised connected Facebook.

“Imagine you’ve enactment connected your glasses oregon headset and you’re instantly successful your location abstraction and it has an incredibly inspiring presumption of immoderate you find astir beautiful,” Zuckerberg says arsenic footage of Capital rioters and a radical of tiki torch-bearing achromatic supremacists plays successful the background.

Politicians crossed each enactment lines besides joined the speech astir the arguable rebrand.

New York progressive congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t clasp backmost successful her disapproval, calling the institution “a crab to democracy” and “a planetary surveillance and propaganda instrumentality for boosting authoritarian regimes and destroying civilian society.”

Meta arsenic successful “we are a crab to ideology metastasizing into a planetary surveillance and propaganda instrumentality for boosting authoritarian regimes and destroying civilian society… for profit!”

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 28, 2021

US Senators Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey didn’t mince their words either.

Blumenthal, a erstwhile Attorney General of Connecticut, alleged the sanction alteration was thing much than an effort to “confuse” and “distract” but yet “won’t erase years of devious practices & disregard for privacy, kids’ wellbeing, spreading hate, & genocide.”

Markey refused to admit the sanction change. “Facebook wants america to commencement calling it Meta, but we’re conscionable going to support calling it what it is, a menace to privacy, democracy, and children,” helium said.

Away from the motives for the rebrand, immoderate took contented with the sanction Meta itself.

“Meta is specified a debased effort, archetypal draught sanction that aggregate consulting companies decidedly got paid millions of dollars to travel up with,” comedian and shaper Mike Drucker said.

“And it was connected that time that ‘that’s truthful meta’ went from being an absorbing reflection to a devastating insult,” writer and subject vlogger Hank Green wrote.

Other companies joined the rebranding bandwagon. Fast nutrient outlet Wendy’s tweeted: “Changing sanction to Meat.”

Twitter besides jumped connected committee with the authoritative Twitter relationship joking they had “big news” followed by the clarification – “lol jk inactive twitter”. The societal media platform’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, offered a explanation to assistance anyone confused by the change. “Meta: referring to itself oregon to the conventions of its genre; self-referential,” helium wrote.